In his Legal Opinion delivered today, Advocate General Yves Bot proposes that the Court should dismiss the legal actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary against a controversial EU decision to mandatorily relocate asylum-seekers according to a fixed quota among the EU Member States. See the press release here.
The Court often, but not always, follows the legal opinions of its Advocates General. In this case, given that the uncontrolled influx of (to the lesser part) asylum seekers and (for the greater part) illegal immigrants into the EU during the “refugee crisis” was provoked through (1) the apparent failure of certain Member States to control their own borders as well as (2) the irresponsible invitation by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to war refugees from Syria to all come to Germany, a judgment by the CJEU along the lines proposed by Advocate General Bot (of otherwise happy memory, by the way, in view of his role in the Court’s pro-human-dignity Brüstle v. Greenpeace decision) would be likely to trigger an unprecedented political crisis inside the EU. While currently the United Kingdom is preparing its departure from the EU because it no longer accepts the principle of free movement of EU nationals (i.e., citizens from one EU Member State freely circulating in another), the Commission and the Council are now trying to force Slovakia, Hungary, and other refugee-sceptic Member States to accept the immigration of non-EU-nationals with no jobs, no skills, and unclear intentions. This is more of a restriction of national sovereignty than seemed to be in the bargain when those countries joined the EU. It is likely that the countries concerned would refuse not only to implement such a judgment, but also to pay any fine that the Court might subsequently seek to impose on them. This could gravely undermine the entire legal system upon which the EU rests.